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Arizona Governing Committee v. Norris - Significance

plans retirement deferred petitioner


Arizona Governing Committee for Tax Deferred Annuity and Deferred Compensation Plans on behalf of deferred compensation and retirement plans


Nathalie Norris, on behalf of employees receiving benefits from employee-sponsored retirement plans

Petitioner's Claim

That the state's retirement plan did not violate the Civil Rights Act in paying lower benefits to women than to men, because of women's longer life expectancy.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

James H. Geary

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Louis J. Caruso

Justices for the Court

William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall (writing for the Court), Sandra Day O'Connor, John Paul Stevens, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

Harry A. Blackmun, Warren E. Burger, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., William H. Rehnquist


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

28 March 1983


That a state retirement plan which paid lower benefits to women than to men violated the Civil Rights Act.

Related Cases

  • Califano v. Goldfarb, 430 U.S. 199 (1977).
  • Spirt v. Teachers Insurance and Annuity Assoc., 735 F.2d 23 (2nd Cir. 1984).

Further Readings

  • Garcia, Guy D. "Turning the Sexual Tables," Time, July 18, 1983.
  • McCarthy, David D., and John A. Turner. "Risk Classification and Sex Discrimination in Pension Plans," Journal of Risk and Insurance, March 1993, p. 85.
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